A Sonny Rollins story about playing ballads

There’s a feeling we get while playing ballads that’s very special and we don’t get while playing at faster tempos.

I love playing ballads, and I always feel a nice connection with other musicians who feel the same way. It could be someone like be the doctor I know who hosts evening jam sessions at her home. Or, it could be a famous jazz musician who can express his deepest feelings through a beautiful song.

Here’s a wonderful Sonny Rollins story about playing ballads. I tell it near the beginning of this video, and then I play the classic ballad “I’ll Be Seeing You,” which was a beloved song during the Swing Era. I became familiar with this song in the 1980s, when I accompanied a vocal group who sang it. The members of the vocal quartet had grown up during that era and clearly loved the song, and playing it now brings back warm memories for me which I’m glad to share with you through my solo piano interpretation here.

I’ll Never Smile Again: Journey Through The Real Book #168

Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”

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